Wednesday, April 19, 2017

March for Science, April 22

There has been a great deal written by many (e.g., 1 2 3 4 5 6) about the upcoming March for Science.  I'm going to the Houston satellite event.  I respect the concern that such a march risks casting scientists as "just another special interest group", or framing scientists as a group as leftists who are reflexively opposed to the present US administration.  Certainly some of the comments from the march's nominal twitter feed are (1) overtly political, despite claims that the event is not partisan; and (2) not just political, but rather extremely so.

On balance, though, I think that the stated core messages (science is not inherently partisan; science is critical for the future of the country and society; policy making about relevant issues should be informed by science) are important and should be heard by a large audience.   If the argument is that scientists should just stay quiet and keep their heads down, because silence is the responsible way to convey objectivity, I am not persuaded.  


Peter said...

Will you have a placard? If so, what will it say? I'm nervous of speeches veering into bombast.

Douglas Natelson said...

No pithy sign from me. I do have to decide which of my science-themed shirts to wear.... I do like this sign quite a bit, though.

Peter said...

I have a friend who has a class that have been discussing and constructing signs for several weeks. Plenty of peer review there.
The sign you link to is good for not getting into the bombast, but still making a vigorous point. Also there's some typographic cunning that gets you to read all of it.

I've been toying with many, all of them a little phlegmatic. The one I like most as of now,
"Our support for Science should be measured,
but on the whole, yeah, Science!"
Peer review welcome. Are there any lists of potential placards? I haven't felt inspired by any of the t-shirts I've seen.

Anonymous said...

This leftits rightists ideology creeping into science is ridiculous. This is new phenomena ascribed to scientists. One can agree with social sciences, for example Noam Chomsky. In science it is either right or wrong not right and left. Noam Chomsky may be not be strictly social sciences , but a linguist turned activist academic.